On Wednesday 9th November the world woke to the news of a new President of the United States. One whose campaign divided the world and with echoes of the Brexit campaign in the U.K. Sought to appeal to the majority often at the expense of minorities, promised to restore prosperity to segments of the population who may feel they have lost relative privilege and relative advantage over recent decades.
After the Brexit vote I felt lost, as though my whole world had shifted. My expectations for social equality, freedom of movement, protection from discrimination and various other harmful practices were at risk. My sense that I lived in a place where we valued being part of a wider world that could work together was unsettled. By achieving a small majority of votes, approximately a quarter of the population of England and Wales have changed the future for the whole of the UK. Today, almost four months on, not much has changed for me, it will take us years to exit the EU and who knows how that will look by then. I can live with this, I've signed petitions I've watched marches and I will continue to support political efforts to review the decision etc etc. But I can live with it because I have advantages, I look like I "belong" in this pretended view of Britishness.
I know a lot changed overnight for others, for those who don't look or sound like they "belong". Racially motivated hate crimes have increased as a campaign fought on anti-immigration lines justified xenophobic and racist behaviours. Anti LGBT attacks increased as politicians holding homophobic or Transphobic views became central to campaigns.
We all belong – we are all equal.
I'm sad for my friends in the USA, they are starting to see increases in already high levels of racism, xenophobia, homophobia and transphobia. Here in the uk we've seen violence break out and lives lost where previously this was extremely rare. How much worse could it be in a country where such hate and oppression related violence, terror and murder is already sickeningly common.
In the coming weeks the world will find out how President Elect Donald Trump will run his administration and which of his many campaign statements will become policy. Whether we like the policies or not, whether our friends are happy or devastated, however we voted, wherever we are in the world: we need to call on everyone to stand against the hate and violence which feels legitimised - it is not ok to hate other people or to treat anyone as less than yourself. We are all the children of God.
Those of us with relative privilege need to educate ourselves as to the experiences of those who are experiencing oppression and hatred, we need to stand beside those who speak up for themselves and call out aggressions and inequalities when we see them. We need to open our eyes to see the ways in which our lives are advantaged by the inherent inequalities of our society.
11-12-2016 - Worship
at Brighthelm Centre, North Road. Starting at 6pm.
14-12-2016 - The Hub, 0800-1400 at Park Crescent.
15-12-2016 - No Bible Cafe this week. We are joining Churches Together for some carol singing, outside the prince of wales, western road, starting at 630pm.
16-11-2016 - Lunch Positive, 1230-1600 at Dorset Gardens Methodist Church.
If you are interested in any of these activities, or just want to find out more please contact us
(Details opposite side of page)
In Partnership with:
Tuesday, Thursday 12-4 pm
The Alcampo Lounge
Sunday 5:45 - 730pm
The Brighthelm Centre
If you have any queries please contact us: